Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention.
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READIN started out as a place for me
to keep track of what I am reading, and to learn (slowly, slowly)
how to design a web site.
There has been some mission drift
here and there, but in general that's still what it is. Some of
the main things I write about here are
listening to (and playing) music, and
watching the movies. Also I write about the
work I do with my hands and with my head; and of course about bringing up Sylvia.
The site is a bit of a work in progress. New features will come on-line now and then; and you will occasionally get error messages in place of the blog, for the forseeable future. Cut me some slack, I'm just doing it for fun! And if you see an error message you think I should know about, please drop me a line. READIN source code is PHP and CSS, and available on request, in case you want to see how it works.
The final 20% of The art of resurrection is captivating and engaging and I have not been writing about it very much, not finding much I have to say that would add to the reading experience... I cannot resist quoting a few maxims which Domingo Zárate Vega gives to the proprietor of the print shop in Pampa Unión (the shop he passed by in Chapter 3, when he made a note to stop there later to make more copies of his pamphlets), to print in his newspaper. The whole of Chapter 23 is an interview with Zárate Vega, más conocido por todos como el famoso Cristo de Elqui, running on Saturday December 27* in La Voz de la Pampa.
Some new sayings or proverbs, Teacher?
‘Honesty is the key to good friendship.’
‘Honor is a golden palace.’
‘The birds in the sky are more content than the wealthiest millionaires, although they sleep out in the open, with only their feathers for cover.’
And another that our Eternal Father revealed to me only a few days ago, as I was emptying my bowels in the open pampa: ‘A good remedy for pride, is that a man should turn his head back now and then, to observe his own shit.’
It is Eastertime here where I am reading, and it is Christmastime in the story.
*Which weirdly, December 27 1942 appears to have been a Sunday. That seems like a really weird mistake to make and I'm thinking there must be some explanation for it, like the newspaper being a weekend edition and taking the Sunday date or something... I'm kind of baffled by this.
Strikingly, memorably visual. Our vaguely Filipino protagonist is standing on the threshold of his employer's bedroom, cigarette (lit and half-smoked) dangling from his lip, fighting not to take a drag as she tells him she will be going to a wedding next week and needs an outfit; he is her tailor/costumer. He drops the cigarette on the gleaming white tile of the passageway as he envisions the dark green dress he will make and the white scarf and sun hat that will accompany it.
posted morning of April third, 2012: Respond ➳ More posts about Dreams
The proceedings were honored by the priestly presence of three old men, survivors of the massacre. They were seated in the first row, legs together, hats resting on their knees, listening and watching everything, granitic, absent.
Since the first time I read The Art of Resurrection, I've read Santa María de las flores negras, and so I get a flash of recognition at the end of Zárate Vega's sermon in chapter 15, when he is introduced to the old miners who had survived the massacre in Iquique -- the oldest of them is Olegario Santana, the War of the Pacific veteran who is already 56 years old at the opening of Flores negras, feeding breakfast to his pet vultures. Now he is 91 years old and is present only as a stony visage. I had a hunch when I was reading Flores negras that Santana was Rivera Letelier writing himself into the story, and I'm going to stick with that impression -- nice to see him here.
My latest endeavor into translation hits the streets today: To Troy, Helen, by Fernando Iwasaki. This is my second translation to appear in Words Without Borders; their April issue is devoted to fiction about sex. (The sentence they pick as the header for the story, "She had undressed me then as if she were peeling a piece of fruit," is nice. It's one of a couple of Iwasaki's similes that I find I can't precisely grasp but that I still have enough of a muddled understanding of to render well. And it gives a nice sense of the story's verbal feel.)
Hairfor throw the auctorite of Almichty God, the Fader of hevin, his Son, our Saviour, Jhesu Crist, and of the Halygaist; throw the auctorite of the Blissit Virgin Sanct Mary, Sanct Michael, Sanct Gabriell, and all the angellis; Sanct John the Baptist, and all the haly patriarkis and prophets; Sanct Peter, Sanct Paull, Sanct Andro, and all haly appostillis; Sanct Stephin, Sanct Laurence, and all haly mertheris; Sanct Gile, Sanct Martyn, and all haly confessouris; Sanct Anne, Sanct Katherin, and all haly virginis and matronis; and of all the sanctis and haly company of hevin; be the auctorite of our Haly Fader the Paip and his cardinalis, aned of my said Lord Archibischop of Glasgw, be the avise and assistance of my lordis, archibischop, bischopis, abbotis, priouris, and utheris prelatis and minesteris of halykirk.
I denounce, proclamis, and declaris all and sindry the committaris of the said saikles murthris, slauchteris, brinying, heirchippes, reiffis, thiftis and spulezeis, oppinly apon day licht and under silence ofnicht, alswele within temporale landis as kirklandis; togither with thair partakeris, assitaris, supplearis, wittandlie resettaris of thair personis, the gudes reft and stollen be thaim, art or part thereof, and their counsalouris and defendouris, of thair evil dedis generalie CURSIT, waryit, aggregeite, and reaggregeite, with the GREIT CURSING.
At his cursing blog, Buddha's Black Dog, Edwin Moore quotes Archbishop Gavin Dunbar's curse against the border reivers. Dunbar, whom George MacDonald Fraser called
one of "the great cursers of all time," consigns the reivers "perpetualie to the deip pit of hell, the remain with Lucifer and all his fallowis, and thair bodeis to the gallows of the Burrow Mure, first to be hangit, syne revin and ruggit with doggis, swyne, and utheris wyld beists, abhominable to all the warld." (Thanks for the link, Stewart!)
Yesterday's post at Letters of Note -- Vonnegut's letter to Charles McCarthy about the burning of his books -- inspired be to look through the Letters of Note archive for more by Vonnegut. There are some great things there; also, from reading that, I found a link to some archives of Vonnegut's radio show, which I never knew about, on WNYC in the late 90's: on God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian, Kurt interviews the recently- and not-so-recently deceased to get their takes on heaven and earth, life and death...